Zydone is an opioid painkiller that contains both hydrocodone and acetaminophen. The latter is an over-the-counter drug that is thought to increase the effects of the hydrocodone. The drug is typically prescribed for moderately severe pain and is intended for short term use, as potential for abuse is a serious consideration with this and other narcotic painkillers. The medication is usually prescribed in one of three strengths, which are five milligrams, 7.5 milligrams and 10 milligrams. Regardless of the hydrocodone strengths, however, the acetaminophen portion of the drug is 400 milligrams.
Zydone is sold under a variety of brand names, including Lorcet, Lortab, Norco, and Vicodin. Because it is derived from opium, the United States Food and Drug Administration has scheduled the medication as a class II controlled substance. It is classed this way because of the potential for abuse and dependency with which it is associated.
The effectiveness of the hydrocodone is due to the manner in which it attaches itself to the patient's neuroreceptors, the latter of which are located in his or her brain and spinal cord. This action blocks the pain and replaces those signals with feelings of euphoria. It is to this sensation that most individuals become addicted. The acetaminophen component simply increases the pain relieving power of the hydrocodone by decreasing the formation of prostaglandins.
Some of the most common side effects associated with the use of Zydone include dry mouth, upset stomach, constipation, headache and dizziness. Less common, but also experienced by some individuals are extreme weakness, bruising, seizures, insomnia, muscle twitches, hot flashes and clammy skin. As with all drugs, an allergic reaction to this medication is also possible, the signs of which include hives, breathing problems, coma or death.
As with all opioid analgesics, there is a high potential for abuse with Zydone because of the hydrocodone it contains. For most individuals, Zydone addiction begins with the legitimate use of the medication for true pain. However, when used long-term, a tolerance in one's system builds up and the effect of the drug is diminished. For this reason, patients experiencing chronic pain may be tempted to escalate their dose of Zydone without first speaking to their primary health care provider. When this course of action is taken, addiction can develop quite rapidly.
Other individuals, although they know what they are doing is wrong, cannot resist the temptation to continue taking the medication even after their pain has subsided. This is because they have become addicted to the euphoria the drug creates and they want to continue feeling that sensation on a regular basis. Unfortunately, however, such individuals quickly discover that they must take more and more Zydone to achieve the desired effect. Thus, the addiction slowly but surely begins to take over their life.
To determine whether or not an individual has become addicted to Zydone, health care professionals look for the primary characteristics that are known to be associated with drug dependency or addiction. Such behavior includes the inability to consistently abstain from the use of the drug, even though the person has stated that he or she wants to cut down or quit the medication. Additional behavior includes the person's unwillingness to admit that a problem exists. Such individuals frequently state that they can quit whenever they want to; however, they are rarely able to do so unless professional help is sought. Drug-seeking behavior is also a sure sign of addiction, and is usually characterized by the individual searching for new ways to obtain more pills when his or her legitimate prescription has run out. Making appointments with more than one doctor in an attempt to obtain multiple prescriptions is the behavior of an addict.
A person can develop a physical or psychological addiction to almost any drug, but narcotic painkillers are number one on the list of the country's most abused medications. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention state that more people die each year from abusing painkillers than die in car accidents. Therefore, it is important for those who have developed an addiction to Zydone to realize that they are not alone and many others are struggling with the same problem. Fortunately, treatments are available for those who are in this situation, and for this reason it is essential that such individuals seek professional help as soon as possible.